Flegel wins title in playoff

Matthew Gourlie
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Golfer wins city title in debut; Sanderson loses in a playoff for second straight year

Some golfers wait their whole lives to win a city championship.

Michael Flegel, left, accepts The Sweet Spot men's city golf championship trophy Sunday.

Michael Flegel managed to do it on his first try.

For Coltyn Sanderson, it was the same story for a second straight year.

Flegel beat Sanderson in a playoff Sunday to win The Sweet Spot men's city golf championship at the Hillcrest.

"It's a nice feeling. I wasn't going to play the event until I thought about it on Wednesday and decided to come out and play. It was a good decision," said Flegel, who is 19 and only became eligible to enter the tournament this year.

Saturday at the Lynbrook, Scott Moerike shot a 69 to take a lead into the final round. Flegel and Sanderson were amongst a group of six golfers who were all within three shots of the lead.

Flegel carded an opening round 72 and shot a 71 on Sunday to force the playoff. Though he was three back at the start of the day, he felt confident he could make a move in the final round.

"I've played a lot of golf here at the Hillcrest (this summer) and I don't think I've shot any higher than one-over. I've been shooting some really good scores in the 60s lately," he said. "I was hoping to put in some really good scores over these two days, but even-par and one-over doesn't kill a guy."

Sanderson was one-back at 70 after the opening day and looked like he was poised for a big round Sunday when he eagled the first and third holes. He finished with a 73 and ended up in a playoff for the second straight year.

Last year he hit the water with his tee shot on the playoff hole and lost to Trevor Benson.

"It's the same result as last year, but it was a lot of fun out there," said Sanderson, who is 23 and is headed back to the University of North Dakota Monday where he will play his junior season with the Fighting Sioux hockey team. "Flegel is a great kid and a great player and is doing really well in B.C., so I'm happy for him."

On the playoff hole, Sanderson hit a great drive, but over-shot the green with his second shot. Flegel called his tee shot 'gross' the moment after he hit it, but made two good shots to recover. Both golfers had long, but makable putts for birdie. Sanderson two-putted for par and Flegel holed his for the win.

"It almost feels better making the birdie after I hit a horrid drive down the right side and into the trees," said Flegel. "I hit a really good second shot and I hit my third shot exactly how I wanted to and made my putt. I made three really good shots to finish and I couldn't ask for a better finish than that."

The playoff was held on the first hole, which Sanderson had eagled earlier in the day.

"What you do around the greens is usually more important than your tee shot," said Sanderson. "I used one club too many on the approach shot and it left me in a tight spot back there. I made par and he made birdie. That's the way it goes."

Flegel wasn't feeling too much pressure on the winning putt. He had made six birdies in his round and was confident in his putting.

"I made a few putts of that length for birdie. I felt good about it. I got out of my own way and drained. I felt like I knew I was going to make it before I stepped up there," he said.

Sanderson and Flegel both had up-and-down rounds. Sanderson was two-over despite making a pair of eagles and Flegel had four bogeys and a double-bogey to counteract his six birdies.

"I had some real big brain farts out there, but I fought back from them and made some really good shots to come back from them," said Flegel.

Daryl Herchuk (70-75—145) finished two shots back in third place, while Craig Benson (72-76—148) was fourth and Adam Young (71-78—149) finished fifth.

Derek Armour (79-74—153) won the first flight and finished ahead of Aaron Senneker (77-78—155) who was second and Trevor Benson (77-78—155) who was third via retrogression.

Greg Vall (84-74—158) won the second flight ahead of Devin Ripley (82-85—167).

Don Higgins (90-82—172) won the third flight, two shots ahead of Ed Bekar (87-87—174) and Mike Biette (92-85—177) won the fourth flight.

Organizations: Hillcrest, University of North Dakota

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